Sometimes old timer’s tale shows path of living amid crisis period. One such story is of Mrs. Anima Dasgupta (92 yrs old now) an ordinary woman who was born before independence. This is a story on migration, partition, family and wit.
At the age of seven years, her mother passed away leaving her with a brother aged three and a father, who soon remarried. Although, she had experienced trauma of both, war and partition, she was always thankful for her own little fairy tale.
As the fairy tales have it in Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, etc that stepmothers are evil, who always discriminated against the step child. However, in this fairytale, the case was refreshingly the opposite. Her father remarried and eventually had five more siblings, three sisters and two brothers. They all grew together as same blood. They had a healthy relation among them. She became their favorite elder sister ‘DIDI’ for all and everyone loved her.
As she grew old, she started getting marriage prospects.
Three gentlemen came to interview her, as was the tradition back then when negotiated marriage was most common. The prospective bridegrooms came from a highly educated family, and were called ‘pundits’.
First gentleman asked her “which is the pulse (Daal) boil fast?”
Her answer was “Moong Daal”.
Second gentleman asked her “if you have given one rupee to distribute among two in such a way that one will get one Aana more than other?” (Anna is an erstwhile Indian local currency. It was before paisa. 4 Aana equals to 25paisa)
Her answer was 7.5Aana and 8.5 Aana.
Now the third gentleman asked “If there is a scarcity of food, how will you manage to run your house?” Her answer was “there will never be such a situation in my place. I will store a small amount of food every day in my stock. And if such situation occurs, I will use my stock.”
The third gentlemen were very pleased to have such a beautiful answer.
She got married to a very tough man and she came to New Delhi in 1955.
Moral of the story: Old people are calmer, intelligent and they always fight like a warrior.